LI Ducks Ink Ex-MLBer Johnny Hellweg to Deal

The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League today announced the signing of former MLB right-handed pitcher Johnny Hellweg. Hellweg begins his first season with the Ducks and 13th in professional baseball.

Johnny Hellweg with the Memphis Redbirds.

Hellweg reached the Major Leagues in 2013 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He made eight appearances (seven starts) for the team, amassing 30.2 innings of work. He earned his first MLB win on September 7 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, holding the Cubs to three runs over six innings of work in a 5-3 victory. 

At six-foot-7 and 235 pounds, Hellweg casts a large, formable shadow on the bump. It is that presence that should throw Atlantic League hitters off their game a bit. But it is his decent minor league numbers and pitching ability that helped him to make it to “The Show” that should give Ducks fans something to look forward to this season.

“Johnny is an imposing force on the mound,” Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff said in a press release. “He has extensive experience as both a starting pitcher and reliever and has reached the game’s highest level. We are happy to welcome him aboard.”

The Ann Arbor, Mich., native most recently spent two seasons (2018-19) with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. He combined to toss a 3-1 record with a 3.00 ERA, three saves, and 26 strikeouts over 33 innings in Japan’s Western and Central Leagues during the 2019 campaign. Prior to his stint in Japan, the 32-year-old compiled a 1.33 ERA, 11 saves, and 25 strikeouts in 24 appearances with the Indianapolis Indians (AAA, Pirates) in 2018. 

In the same year of his call-up, named Hellweg an Organization All-Star for the Brewers, the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, and a PCL Post-Season All-Star. Over 23 starts with Triple-A Nashville in 2013, he went 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 125.2 innings.

— Jerry Del Priore

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